What is ‘intelezi’?

2012-08-18 00:00

UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Jabulani Maphalala said yesterday that intelezi had been used in many wars, including Isandlwana, Ncome and the Bhambatha Rebellion.

People using the muthi were not told what was in it. It included special herbs and could include gunpowder from a cartridge, he said.

Some believed it was used to protect warriors against gunshots from their enemies.

The procedure required men to abstain from sleeping with their wives or being in direct contact with women. They had to be in an isolated place when they applied the muthi from a particular sangoma.

The belief was used to instill fearlessness and bravery in the users.

“I cannot rule out whether the mineworkers had the right or wrong intelezi, but looking at the footage they believed in themselves … they were prepared for battle,” said Maphalala.

“Sometimes izinyanga would prove for you that intelezi is working by testing it on an animal. If it is working, a gun would not be able to shoot that animal because the gun won’t work.”

Even political party members used intelezi to protect themselves from their enemies at the height of political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, said Maphalala.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.